The Distillations blog is the place for regular updates from the intersections of science, culture, and history.
Eschewing tradition, some instrument makers are redefining what a violin, viola, or cello is.
About half of the 1,100 instruments hand-crafted by the famous Italian luthier Antonio Stradivari were lost or destroyed over the last 300 years. Should the instruments that remain be played or preserved?
In the 1950s, a devious oil company created a television show to flatter industrialists and win their business.
The search for extraterrestrial intelligence has been going on for decades, but so far no one has found anything. As the Italian physicist Enrico Fermi once asked, where is everybody?